Kure Beach Council Moves Forward With New Paid Parking Enforcement Program

Kure Beach Council Moves Forward With New Paid Parking Enforcement Program

Kure Beach Council Moves Forward With New Paid Parking Enforcement Program Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 17 March 2021 02:24

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

KURE BEACH - The Town of Kure Beach has signed a contract with a parking enforcement company and ordered signs and equipment to begin charging for public parking in April.
Kure Beach has for many years been the only beach town in New Hanover County with free public parking. That tradition is now coming to an end.
Mayor Craig Bloszinsky explained during the Council's March 15th, meeting that a contract has been signed with a private parking enforcement company and, "The signs are ordered... the equipment is on it's way."
Pay Stations will be located on K. Avenue at two locations to permit motorists to park and pay.
Bloszinsky explained some parking in the downtown area would be time-limited to allow for pick up of food from restaurants. He said the point of paid parking in that area is, "We want them to turn over for those businesses. I don't think you should go in sit down have a beer and wait for your order and then come out and go. I think you should call it in, you come and pick it up and let the next guy do it. That's my opinion."
Councilman Allen Oliver said that currently there is a 30 minute time limit and, "I just want to make sure we are on the same page to do 15 minutes when we are currently  doing 30 minutes."
Councilman David Heglar raised the issue of when people are picking up their orders from restaurants it may take longer than the time-limit on a parking spaces for a number of reasons and then someone would end up getting a ticket.
Heglar said, "I don't totally understand the technology but if it's camera based and the person comes by and it reads license plates and the it will be 16 minutes you'll be getting a ticket.
I'm just thinking how it will work. I'm sort of with Allen a little bit, if it's too fast a lot of our citizens that are just trying to pick up their stuff are going to get tickets."
Heglar pointed out that even residents who purchase annual parking passes would be subject to those time-limited downtown parking spaces and not just tourists. He explained, "I think we have to be willing to adjust it after we see what happens" and, "If all of our citizens are calling mad about tickets I think we will be changing the signs."
The Council agreed to make certain spaces on K. Avenue limited to 30 minutes.
Bloszinsky explained, "30 is what's been down there. If it doesn't get much turn-over then we will change it. If we get too many tickets then, we'll change it, but whatever it is, you want 30, we are going 30 minute spots."
Bloszinsky said there would be no charge for parking from 8am to 1pn on Sunday's for church along 6th Street or 3rd Street.
He explained, "We had determined that it would be $5 an hour, $20 daily. We had determined that it would be $100 weekly if somebody wanted to purchase a weekly pass. That it would be $200 for a season pass."
He explained, "Two hours would be $3. The 30-minutes will be free. The work rate for workers would be $100 dollars for the season while they are employed. The rate for citizens if they wish to have their plate registered would be $20 per license plate, two plates, and if you need more than two plates you would have to go to the $100 rate and demonstrate and prove that you had ownership of the car and the plate."
Bloszinsky said the Town is still looking at beginning the enforcement program on April 1st but he asked the contractor if that date should be extended and the contractor responded they would consider it but were still looking at April 1st.
Councilman David Heglar said, "He needs to give us a link to the website and the communication plan and staff has to understand how to validate all these resident requests that are coming in. He needs to do that this week if we think staff is going to be able to validate all of the residents license plate information. That's going to be an issue."
Town Clerk Mandy Sanders said they will need time to validate residents license plate information for parking passes and it will be a short time-frame between March 15th and April 1st to complete that task.
Additionally, short term rental companies and residents will need to be notified in advance.
She explained, "We need to give them time to sign up."
Heglar said, "The communication plan needs to begin now" including short-term rental companies that need to inform their clients so they are not caught off guard on the new parking regulations.
Bloszinsky said the Town should communicate with the contractor and rely on their 30 years of operation for input on how to operate the program.
The Council discussed moving the date of implementing the program on the 15th and will continue discussing the details with the parking contractor.
During the Council's February 1st, meeting Councilman John Ellen said, "Over six months, April through September (180 days) you have 660 slots. Twelve hours a day from 8am to 8pm, that's over a million four hundred slot hours. If you average a dollar an hour... you would clear $1,230,000 dollars. So I think it is a good idea. I haven't quite decided on my position on the rate. But the way I added up the numbers from the presentation the other night it  takes about $188,000 dollars for the contract. So if you have $1.4 million coming in and take $188,000 out, you clear a million 200,000. I think we ought to try it."
Councilman Joseph Whitley said on Tuesday February 2nd, "I think it will help us control parking which has gotten steadily worse over the years and all the populations from new developments coming over the bridge. Paid parking is about control. I don't see it being a cash cow or a windfall for the town. It will help some, but more it's just about controlling traffic and parking and people parking poorly which we've seen a rise of especially with COVID-19. and other Towns like Topsail Beach and others going with paid parking we saw a rise" in attendance because Kure Beach has always had free parking.
He explained, "We have to maintain rest rooms and other amenities, services, trash and recycling to deal with influx of people visiting the beach."

Author

Super User

Super User

 



Please publish modules in offcanvas position.